The World's New Gay State

Third Printing of Graham’s Best Seller, The Gay State Announced for 2010.

Posted in Uncategorized by thegaystateblog on December 23, 2009

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Third Printing of Graham’s Best Seller, The Gay State Announced for 2010.

New York, NY, USA – December 22, 2009.  In 2009, the world witnessed the relentless and continuing assault of Gays around the globe.  Murders, executions, imprisonment and beatings of members of the Gay, Lesbian and Transgender community increased internationally.  The beheading of Gays even reached the US, which saw LGBT hate crimes spike by eleven percent in 2008-09.

 As a result of the ongoing global persecution, author Garrett Graham is re-releasing his internationally acclaimed book “The Gay State: The Quest For An Independent Gay Nation-State And What It Means To Conservatives And The World’s Religions.”  The book, originally written  and released in 2007, was followed up with a second printing in 2008.  After revisions and re-editing and inclusion of new data, a third printing of The Gay State is expected to be released by Spring, 2010.  Demand continues to increase, according to Graham’s agent,  Dottie Shapiro, with global distribution across five continents.

 Graham, who lives in New York, has travelled extensively as a Gay equality activist and has researched the question of creating an independent Gay nation.  According to Graham, “Gays have lived under brutal oppression for thousands of years.  And with the exception of a few liberal pockets of enlightenment, the onslaught of our people mercilessly continues.”

 In a telephone interview from London, Graham said “We, as the Gay community are a people – one people, yet we are scattered about in every nation on Earth.  Of those 195 nations, 80 of them have made our very existence an illegal act.  Even in countries where we are legally allowed to exist, we are rooted out for extermination and subjected to routine violence.”

Graham insists the time for this historic experiment in Gay independence has come.  “The global Gay community wants nothing more than to live in freedom with peace and liberty.  We seek only to be left to prosper – or fail, according to our own merit, drive and talent.”

Political conservatives and religious leaders have had mixed reactions to the plan for an independent Gay territory, but substantial numbers support the Gay community in establishing their own Gay state.  Graham’s response to the clergy was “It may be true that we are strange bedfellows.  But we all agree that our views are incompatible and by working harmoniously to separate peacefully is in everyone’s interest.”

Often referred to as “The father of the global Gay independence movement,” Graham will continue to give talks on the subject and a book tour will be scheduled in the coming months, according to his agent, Dottie Shapiro. 

Garrett Graham is available for interviews and his offices may be reached at:

GarrettGrahamAndTheGayState@GMail.com

Contact:  Garrett Graham

GarrettGrahamAndTheGayState@GMail.com

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Happy Festivus, Gore Vidal.

Posted in Uncategorized by thegaystateblog on December 14, 2009

This is a season that can be trying for those of us who are lacking in holiday cheer.  The false merriment and artificial glee rings hollow for those who find little comfort in the Christmas spirit.  The obscene degree of commercialism that plagues the western cultures only serves to dramatize and magnify the hollowness of all the holiday season rituals.  There are also Jews I’m sure who lament Hanukkah and Africans who would rather ignore all of the trappings of Kwanzaa.   Millions of us who have experienced loss dread the holidays, the melancholy and the isolation that exacerbates the heartbreak.  Which is why I have enjoyed for years, the perverted pleasure that comes from Seinfeld and magic of “Happy Festivus.”

Gore Vidal is one of America’s celebrated atheists.  And I can’t help myself but to wonder how he will pass his time on December 24th and 25th.  We’ll probably be spending a quiet evening in New York on December 24th; not that Gore should feel the need to call and chat or anything, unless of course he felt the urge.  Anyway, he has been an icon in American literature for decades and a Gay icon for all of my adult life.  Funny looking back; I can still remember as a young pre-teen enthralled with photos of Gore in his ‘60’s era swimming trunks.  Was that the moment that “I knew?”  No, “I knew” when I was much younger, but I can still remember those photos. And that smile.

I can’t say that I know Gore Vidal.  I have often been puzzled by his acerbic nature or persona, I’m not sure which.  Having been born into privilege and having had boundless opportunities that most of us never had, I never could see why he always seemed irritable and constipated.  Who amongst us would not want to have lived his life of wealth, with all of the trappings of glamour and access.  Or maybe I should say excess.  He could have just as well lived his entire life on the dusty plains of Oklahoma and had never known the world as he did.  That alone should humble a man to last a lifetime.  On the contrary, Gore is attributed with the quote, “It’s not enough to succeed, others must fail.”  I have never subscribed to that way of thinking at any age.  I hope Gore, that the edge has rubbed off over the years.

When I was in college, I often spent my summer breaks in Newport, Rhode Island at Hammersmith Farm.  I worked as the ‘hired help’ for Mrs. Auchincloss.  By that time, Gore was already an international celebrity.  He rarely came around the property, but Jackie Kennedy and Lee Radziwill, Caroline and John Kennedy Jr. were more frequent visitors.  Gore’s name was sometimes mentioned by family members who fondly spoke of him.

Fast forward to the ‘90’s and early noughts.  My husband Mike and I would spend a part of our summers on the Amalfi Coast, in the village of Positano, relaxing in our villa, which clung to the stone cliffs, high above the sea.  Meanwhile, Gore and his partner Howard were just down the trail in Ravello.  Still we never socialized together.  I’m not much for trying to impress others and to Gore, one-upmanship is a blood sport.  Several times each summer we would make the trek to Ravello.  We’d feast at the Hotel Rufolo, have drinks poolside at Caruso, before an evening of chamber music in the ancient gardens.  Still our paths never crossed, separated by generations and social strata.

Now as 2009 comes to an end and we are all showing our age, Gore has released another book.  I own and keep in my personal library every book he has ever written.  His latest, Snapshots in History’s Glare, is a photographic history as seen through the lens of his life long partner Howard Auster.  Gore provided his trademark insight; sharp, biting and thoughtful.  I’m still not sure if his writing accompanies the photos or the photos accompany his writing but it is a lovely stroll through the decades of a man’s life that has touched so many of us in one way or another.

Now, closing in on 85 and sometimes utilizing a wheelchair, both his mind and tongue are as sharp as ever.  I hope this won’t be Gore’s last book, but if it were to be his Swan Song, it was a lovely look back on a very full life.  And to Gore, I wish you peace and joy, a merry festivus (for the rest of us,) a comfortable new year and lastly a thank you for the memories.

The Violence Against Gays Must Not Continue

Posted in Uncategorized by thegaystateblog on December 12, 2009

A Global Petition.

Help us stop the torture and international abuse of Gays everywhere and lend your voice in establishing a free and independent Gay State!

It is not freedom when you are only allowed as much leverage as your masters are comfortable in affording you. Just think of it…what other minorities have endured 3,000 years of murder, execution, imprisonment and beatings? And now in the 21st century, the global Gay community are second class citizens at best, rooted out for extermination at worst.

PLEASE LEND YOUR NAME TO OUR PETITION. And thank you.

 Say YES to the Establishment of new Gay Nation-State and express your support to all international Political leaders and UN Members.

Preamble: We, Citizens of the World, representing every nation on Earth, Gay citizens and non-Gay citizens alike, recognize that, Gays, Lesbians, Bisexuals and Transgender People have endured thousands of years of persecution in the lands of their birth. We acknowledge that in 80 nations on Earth, expressing ones Homosexuality is a crime, punishable by death, extreme prison sentences, public lashings or hard labor. We also acknowledge that Gay people are discriminated against in virtually every nation on Earth; that in nearly all countries they are treated as second class citizens at best and as a people that should be exterminated at worst. We recognize that Gay people everywhere deserve liberty, equality, freedom and democracy. In as much that nations cannot or will not accommodate the rights of this oppressed minority, we support the establishment of a Gay Nation-State where they may pursue life, liberty, freedom and happiness, without oppression from an alternate majority, without infringing on the rights of the majorities in every other nation on Earth that has a majority Heterosexual population.

We recognize that Gay citizens everywhere are a people – one people, one tribe and they share a unique status as a minority population that no other minority group inherently owns and should therefore, be afforded the territorial rights of a recognized minority. We recoginze that it is our cultural traits and our innate being that targets us for oppression, abuse and execution.  It is not a choice, nor something that can or should be squashed.  And free people everywhere recognize that the Gay community is targeted for violence and extermination because of their unique and innate being that brings them together as one people.

We acknowledge that their oppression at the hands of the majority non-Gay Heterosexual governments is so massive and widespread as to exist in a full 95 percent of all nations on Earth. While advancements in their human rights have occurred, they have done so at a very slow pace, extending over many centuries. We also must admit that Gay people have been marginalized and their advances have often been repealed by governments unfriendly to their plight and political administrations in need of a political and cultural scapegoat, as government often are.

Furthermore we wish to acknowledge that Gay citizens are oppressed in ways beyond the oppression witnessed in most other minorities. The physical violence, psychological terrorism and financial hardships imposed on Gay people worldwide, goes so far as to prevent them from gathering in sizable numbers as other minorities have done, resulting in their oppression being largely invisible to the outside world.

Toward a resolution that would refrain from the continued oppression and violence afflicted on Gay citizens, but without sacrificing the rights, cultural and religious beliefs of the vast majority of nations on Earth, we submit that a territory be transferred to Gay people to create their own Gay Nation-State where they can flourish and prosper or struggle and despair, according to their own abilities and innate talents and quest for democracy.

 Therefore, as Citizens of the World, representing every nation on planet Earth, we endorse the establishment of a Gay Nation-State and support the actions to create a peaceful transfer of a territory where they can create their own culture and live to the best of their ability.

Please offer us your city and country of residence. Also your email is appreciated so that we may contact you with additional information on our development. We will strictly protect your identity and under no circumstances will we share your information with third parties. Thank you.

Please take a moment and click here to go directly to the petition above and support us in name.  Thank you!

Peace Be With You, Madame Speaker Nancy Pelosi

Posted in Uncategorized by thegaystateblog on December 10, 2009

I happened to have been born into a Catholic family.  Over the years, for me, and yes religion is a very individual experience, the folly of the Church became blatant, the misguided papacy represented the heights of hypocrisy and my experiences with the Roman Catholic hierarchy revealed itself as an enemy of my people.  I believe they harm freedom-seeking and spiritually inclined Gays around the world.  I cannot continue to let my people suffer in silence and benign neglect from the church because of some other “goods” that they apparently stand for.

But as I have said, religion is a personal experience meant to bring you closer to your God.  Several very wise and loving friends of mine happen to follow the Catholic church and they choose to overlook the hatred and intolerance that is preached from the pulpit.  I think they believe their bond with their God is strong enough to withstand the meddling of hostile middle men who work to build artificial barriers.  I surround myself with diverse thinkers; some friends being Pro-Choice, some being Pro-Life (you might call them Anti-Choice,) some being Democratic Socialists and yes, even a few who fancy themselves as Republicans.  Some attend mass to enrich their lives.  Some attend services to be part of a community.  Others attend mass for the P.R. value.  Just think of the political candidates that have taken their message to the pulpits across America.

 On this particular Sunday, I attended the Gayest of Catholic churches in all of New York City; the St. Francis Xavier Church on W. 16th Street.  It is located on the edge of Chelsea; others call it the Union Square neighborhood.  But it is on its face, a very accepting church with a lovely and well-meaning congregation; most or at least many who are of the Gay community who call SFX the home for their spiritual enrichment.

 Just moments after the mass begins, who quietly walks in with her young, toddler-aged grandson and discretely takes a seat in a rear pew?  Non other than the woman who is third in line for the Presidency of the United States, the Honorable  Speaker of the House, Representative Nancy Pelosi.  I noticed her out of the corner of my eye, while seemingly very few others did.  New Yorkers tend to be non-plused by celebrity sightings anyway. 

 Speaker Pelosi was very pleasant, blended in as just another congregant.  She sang the hymns, and modestly distracted her young grandson, who while well-behaved, squirmed in his seat as toddlers do.  And she was a big tipper too.  Make that donor.  One isn’t suppose to notice these things in a house of worship but on this Sunday they passed the basket around two times.  The first time, she put two twenties in the basket, one from her, the other the grandson.  On the second passing, when most people scale back their offerings in a big way, she followed through and ponied up another $40 smackers.

 Then there is the part of the service when Catholics go through this offering of the peace to all of those sitting around them in neighbouring seats.  Generally, on queue, people smile at one another, shake hands and say “Peace be with you.”  They unclasp their handshake, turn to the next person and repeat.  Nancy, with her trademark smile and sparkling eyes, made eye contact to each and every participant she offered peace to.  Only then did some people recognize her.  As the mass ended and the congregants turned to depart the church, only then could one see the Secret Service agents in the church, at the entrance and guarding her awaiting SUV waiting just outside the door.

Word quickly spread in hushed tones, others clearly responded to what might be defined as a celebrity sighting.  People, one at a time came to her as everyone slowly exited the church.  The congregants thanked her for all that she is doing to provide the citizens of the US with health care.  Others thanked her in fighting the “evil doers” who work to deny affordable health care.  Even more thanked her for all of her efforts and others shouted from a moderate distance, “God Bless You, Nancy Pelosi!”  I believe she was a genuine Catholic practicing her faith.  She didn’t seem to be one of the countless phonies I have met in my lifetime, just trying to put in a good show.

It must be nice.  It must be comforting and reassuring to believe in a faith that is not determined to rob you of your civil rights.  If we are all perfect; made in God’s image and he made us as we are, who then is the church to shout “Blasphemy!” at our families and who we love?  The Catholic church has supported our executioners for thousands of years, enabling those who subject us to brutal oppression.  It is an organization I will not break bread with anytime soon.

And then, there are the parishioners, like my friends and like Speaker Nancy Pelosi, sincere, genuine and well meaning, who embody the goodness of humanity.  May their God bless them heartily!

A Final Thought on the Buffalo trip…

Posted in Uncategorized by thegaystateblog on December 8, 2009

Before I go on, a quick briefing on Buffalo.  Buffalo has one of the most peculiar histories in the larger American story.  Most people sadly are only familiar with Buffalo and its sad sack economy.  Or Buffalo and its legendary snow storms.  Or the city with the football team that always choked with “the big one.”  But in truth, it grew to one of the largest, wealthiest cities in American history and by the turn of the last century, there were more millionaires-per-capita in Buffalo than in any other city in the US.  And the glory about Buffalo is that its considerable wealth and prosperity came at a time before the income tax and before the automobile industry changed the way we live in America.

To this day, the downtown is a national treasure in architecture and urban planning.  Even the New York Times backs me up on this.  The streetscape one experiences along Buffalo’s grand boulevards and avenues is unlike any place else in this country.  An incredible amount of parkland is in Buffalo, thanks to so many extraordinary works by one Frederick Law Olmstead, the designer of New York’s Central Park.  Sidewalks define the pedestrian nature of life in a long ago era.  Everything from the park benches throughout the city to its beautiful street lamps should be celebrated.  And the sidewalks help make it a human-centric, pedestrian, livable city.  And the mansions throughout the cities Westside are so great in number, there is not just one or two wealthy neighborhoods, but you simply cannot count all of the historic manses and the rich detail and history in each of them.

Then came the Depression.  The War.  The advent of the automobile and the national movement to flee to the suburbs.  The Welland Canal and its efficient connection to the St. Lawrence Seaway was another death blow that made the Erie Canal obsolete and further marginalized Buffalo’s geographic position.  The Race riots of 40 years ago and the ensuing “white flight” planted the perception that living “in-town” was no longer desirable.  Through the long economic decline and decades of neglect, Buffalo’s forgotten treasures were largely ignored.  It reminds me of the parallels with Charleston, SC; a city that is largely preserved because for decades it was a city “to poor to paint and too proud to whitewash.”  In 2009, a one room studio apartment can be purchased in Manhattan for $450,000.  That same amount of money will purchase one of Buffalo’s grand historic residences; perhaps 5 bedrooms, 4 baths, magnificent woodwork and architectural detailing.  A true home of distinction. 

Over the last forty years, the decline of Buffalo only worsened.  More than half of its population has left the city and it has been said the best news in Buffalo is that it had been frozen in time, preventing the bulldozers from tearing down its treasures.  During the “golden age” of the 1990’s Buffalo simply maintained.  But now it seems the long sleep is over.  Buffalo is awakening.  Real estate values are rising.  Things are turning around.

A pilgrimage to Buffalo should be required of all American architectural and urban planning students.  America would be better off if it learned some lessons from one of the best preserved major cities of the last century and begin incorporating its aspects into our newer, sterile and underwhelming urban cores.  Not to say Buffalo does not have its own urban problems.  Large swaths of the city have been abandoned and left to decay in poverty or abandonment.  Too many of the sub-urban dwellers have written off the city from their daily lives, living as if this very heart of the western New York region did not exist.

Yet the visitor should keep in mind the tale of two cities.  Buffalo and Toronto.  In the 1960’s, they were similar municipalities in so many ways.  Torontonians would travel to Buffalo for their nightlife and entertainment.  Over the years, Toronto chose a progressive path built on growth and diversity.  My take on Buffalo politics is, the power structure over the years was more concerned with protecting their little fiefdoms and securing patronage jobs for their cronies and political donors, that Buffalo became only a shell of what it was and what it could have been.  Toronto meanwhile, has exploded as one of the most dynamic cities in the world, often ranked as one of the most beautiful and livable cities on the planet.  Night and Day.  Rich man, poor man.

So upon reflection on my recent engagements to Rochester, Toronto and Buffalo, Buffalo is truly an interesting place to visit.  The rest of the saying of course is, “but I wouldn’t want to live there.”  So if you are on a driving trip.  And the weather is decent.  And you have an interest in architecture.  And history.  It wouldn’t be the worst vacation to stop in Buffalo for a few days.  You may very well be as pleasantly surprised as I was.

America The Selfish.

Posted in Uncategorized by thegaystateblog on December 4, 2009

Baby Boomers.  You knew them as the “me” generation or maybe the “feel good” generation.  As they aged, they have apparently become the “to hell with you” generation.  A demographic that was going to change the world has, well, have you looked around lately?  They have made a colossal mess of things.

The Town Hall meetings in the summer of 2009 may have put the final nail in the coffin of America’s “can do” philosophy.  Instead of masses turning up to support and demand equal health care for their fellow citizens, they embarrassed themselves and our country by their crude, selfish and heartless greed.  Why is it that those with insurance want to deny it to others?  The answer: A lack of concern for our brothers, our neighbors and the worry it might cost them something.  Why is it that health insurance is expected to be paid by small businesses, breaking the financial backs of many small entrepreneurs before they have hardly begun?  The answer:  greed, or better yet, “I have mine and to hell with you.”  After all, our employers are not sent a bill to pay the tolls that I have accrued on our national highways.   They don’t pay for my homeowners insurance so why on earth should they have to pay for our health insurance?   Health care in the 21st century is indeed a well earned right in a country that likes to think of itself as a super power.  For all of the taxes I pay and tens of thousands in property taxes, a grade-A Congressional-level health care plan should be mine, compliments of Uncle Sam for all of the ways we support this country.  Why is it the biggest financial meltdown in decades (we’ve heard ‘since the Great Depression’ so many times that we are numbed to it) is blamed on hard working families trying to fight for a few crumbs of the American pie.  The answer:  Can you say scapegoat?  I am a pro-business man but corporations have raped this country and abused our citizens for so long we often don’t even see it anymore.

There may be few innocents among us but the big picture answer, it seems to me is selfishness.  I have mine and to hell with you.  This is the core belief of the crowd that loves Rush Limbaugh; usually the lower to middle class republicans with a libertarian streak who may struggle to hold it all together financially yet they are taking their cues from a man who makes upward of $90 million a year, pedaling his hatemongering to them.  And these listeners who apparently have nothing better to do during the day when his radio gig is broadcast across America, eat up each and every talking point he utters.  Limbaugh is nothing if not a top notch salesman, and as the PT Barnum of the modern era, he convinces his ditto-heads to march to his beat.  Their collective refrain is often the same old “well, life is full of choices and if health insurance is so important to you, you probably shouldn’t be creating art that no one wants but go to work for corporate America instead.”

There are so many things wrong with this thinking I don’t know where to begin.  Corporate America is flailing about because even they cannot compete internationally due to their stifling legacy costs that no other enlightened country should impose upon their businesses.  And do we really want to smother the creative ingenuity of risk-takers who dare to dream a vision that could enhance all of our lives and someday change the world; even just a little bit?  Just think of the capital that could be unleashed into new research and development if companies big and small did not have to commit enormous resources for health care costs that are not their responsibility?  Think of the explosion of entrepreneurs and the creativity and ingenuity they would unleash.  They are men and women who would be free to live their dream if they didn’t feel somehow ball and chained to their corporate masters for health care in the event they or their loved ones become sick?  Millions of lives with dreams deferred that in other countries would not pose such a detriment.

There is a deep divide in America.  The safety net for the average citizen is fraying away and becoming so thin as to be almost meaningless.  As a Gay man, I have lived my entire adult life as a first class taxpayer and as a second class citizen, so I am used to receiving little in  return for my contribution.   But all Americans, Gay and non-Gay alike deserve so much better from their government.  So, haven’t you ever wondered where does all of the money go?  Why are other, more advanced nations able to provide for their citizens in ways that we can’t.

I love America, if not out of habit from a half of century of supporting it.  But if we can all stop chanting “USA! USA!” long enough, why have we fallen compared to the rest of the world in home ownership?  Why are our kids doing so poorly in international tests?  Why does the average American have such a shorter life expectancy?  Why are our children the sickest in the world and infant mortality the highest of the industrial world?  Why do Americans toil away at their work many more hours than our European compatriots yet we perversely celebrate the hours of our lives passing away that could better be spent with our families and community?  Doesn’t this equate to some sort of corporate or national brainwashing that we should gleefully work more hours to receive less, and yet feel it should be bragged about?   Is that a capital “L” on your forehead or are we being suckered?  Why are we such a violent nation, yet insist on “clinging” to our guns?  What are we the best at, other than the capacity to end all life on planet earth, that we are compelled to shout “USA! USA!”

The world use to admire us.  Many nations respected us.  Now they resent us.  Some still fear us.  Many nations loathe us.  But saddest of all, many countries pity us and it is most difficult to accept their pity.  We were a great country.  We had achieved greatness, and raised the bar to historic proportions.  But the world is watching as we decay from within and our superiority becomes nothing more than shallow slogans.   We will go down defiantly and the process of becoming “one of many” will be ugly and painful to watch, as we will not accept the dethroning of the United States with any grace and dignity.  Howard Dean was right when he cited Paul Kennedy in The Rise and Fall of Great Powers.  He and his presidential campaign took a substantial body blow for speaking the truth.  Great powers do fade away.  I believe the world will come to mourn the day when the USA is not a steadying force.  For better or worse, the USA is in decline and I fear it will ultimately be replaced with a power that will not sit well with Americans. 

 We have silently allowed our Chinese bankers to become our financial masters, who enable all of our vices, not the least of which is our addiction to oil which we attain from powers that turn around and use our dollars to kill fellow Americans.  Yes, it is a complicated world, but it has also become devoid of any morality.  Our politicians pander to the masses, having no backbone of their own.  They all make a grand fuss to deny me the right to marry in my own country on the grounds of some twisted moral grounds, but go about being an accessory to the murder of our men and women in uniform in a distant land that does not directly endanger our nation.

Martin Luther King was right when he said “We all may have come on different ships, but we’re in the same boat now.”  It is time for Americans to start acting like it, all rowing in the same direction.  We can all see what selfishness has brought us.  Why don’t we all aspire to serve our communities first and foremost.  We have in the end, nothing left to lose.  Oh, and great job, Boomers!  I can only imagine how proud you feel of the world you created.

 

Fear and Self-Loathing in Buffalo

Posted in Uncategorized by thegaystateblog on December 3, 2009

I have been travelling for the last week; Rochester, Toronto and Buffalo.  While in Buffalo I was asked to speak to a Buffalo Gay Men’s Group.  There were perhaps three dozen people in attendance.  While most do not consider themselves activists, they are prominent business owners and professionals from throughout Western New York.  Many of the men I met were charming, engaging and sociable.  But on this all important election eve in November 2009, no one but me seemed to be jonesing for election results!  What could be more important than the vote in Maine on Proposition One?  Or the re-election of Governors that support our rights to Federal Equality?

As it all turned out, Maine continued our nationwide disappointment.  It is one more example of how the Heterosexual majority does not see us as worthy of being married, having financial security or raising a family in America.  What was most astonishing to me is when I expressed my dismay to one of the leaders in the Buffalo Gay community, the unexpected response was, “That’s the problem!  Those FAG-gots want to have it all!”  I thought I had misunderstood the sentiments of my host and I asked him to repeat himself and he did: “Those FAG-gots [and when he used the word, he said it with such vitriol and animosity] they expect to have everything!”

To my thinking, being able to marry the love of my life is not expecting “it all.”  Having the same “freedom” as everyone else is not asking for too much in my estimation.  And “those FAG-gots,” it appears, is ME.  It is WE.  And it is reprehensible that a Gay man of adequate intellect and intelligence should so perfectly mirror the hateful speech one would expect from our enemies.  It is a unique brand of self-loathing that Gay men experience after having a lifetime of discrimination foisted upon them.  To hear the sentiment was disappointing.  Standing before a Gay brother who feels this way about our very being is sad.  I would not want to live in his skin nor walk in his shoes.  I can only imagine the discomfort his own life brings him.

I may be an old man.  I may be even older than my years.  But to my way of thinking there is no way one can tolerate the use of the word “faggot.”  To me it is as ugly as the “N” word.  I have heard that African Americans like to use it amongst themselves as a sort of empowerment.  I don’t buy it.  It is ugly and vile and using hate speech towards your own does everyone a disservice.  It merely perpetuates the humiliation and belittles a groups collective worth.

Neither do I like the use of “queer.”  I am old enough that in literature and speech, queer meant strange.  There is nothing “strange” about being a Gay man.  That I live my life to bring happiness to Mike and to build a nice home for our family in not — “strange.”  To call ourselves strange is wrong.  We may as well call ourselves freaks.  Our enemies and oppressors would like that just as much and using these words gives power to discrimination where it should be banished altogether. 

This is where the generation gap rears its head.  The twenty-something’s of today seem to find “queer” perfectly acceptable if not preferable and I can only hope they will outgrow this notion that self-deprecation equates to power.

The one other takeaway from my time with Buffalo’s Gay community is that divisiveness within the community can act like a poison.  Tensions between the Gay men and the more activist Lesbian community in Buffalo may spell doom to next years Gay Pride Parade in Buffalo and neither side seems willing to work and cooperate with the other in pulling it all together.  This would be a loss that would be felt throughout the region.  With a very long winter still to come to the good folks of Buffalo, I hope they can overcome their divisions and celebrate together come next spring.  Accept that their will be differences but do not turn our backs on our customs or traditions.